Jealousy in a relationship can be like poisonous venom from a snake bite. It attacks quickly, without notice, and can be deadly (to the relationship) if not treated right away. While it might seem silly for your spouse to be jealous of the relationship you’ve developed with their friends or family members, ignoring or dismissing it as nonsense will only make things worse. It is imperative that you face this challenge head on for the sake of your relationship.
When you first meet your significant other the one thing you want more than anything is to not only connect and get along with him or her, but you also want to connect and develop a relationship with those they hold dear to their hearts. For some people, getting in the door with their partner’s family members or friends is like an initiation from a college fraternity, and others find it very easy. No matter how you got to this point in your connection, once you do bond with others it becomes very important to make sure you don’t cross any lines or it can go from great to bad in a matter of seconds.
Talk and Share Your Intentions
One of the most important steps to keeping the jealousy at bay is to talk about it. While not everyone will admit when they are jealous if you start to see signs of it in your significant other, you need to approach them and discuss what’s got them feeling this way. Not only should you want to know why they feel how they feel, but you also want to share your side of things and what your intensions are. You might find that it is just a simple misunderstanding that can be cleared up through conversation. After all, communication is the key to any relationship.
While this should be done from the beginning, if you’ve noticed that your spouse seems somewhat jealous of your relationship with any of their friends or family members you should set personal boundaries that you will oblige by to assure them nothing is going on. These boundaries might include: no going anywhere without your partner, no long conversations without your partner around, no physical touching in a way that might be misconstrued as flirting, etc.
To you it may seem like a harmless attempt to make nice with his or her friends, but to your partner it might seem as if their friends like you a little more than they should. For this reason, it is important that you always provide some type of assurance to your significant other. This could be something as subtle as talking about them in a positive way in front of friends, showing him love and affection on the daily basis, or even something as bold as a bit of PDA when others are around.
Never Go Alone
If your spouse has expressed to you that they are a bit concerned about the relationship that you have developed with one of their friends of family members, you should be sure that you do not participate in any one-on-one time with that person. While it may very well be innocent, it is all about perception and how it will make your spouse feel. Always keep your spouse in the mix so that they are not blindsided or left out of the equation.
It may come down to this if the jealousy is serious and therefore you need to be prepared. If your spouse comes to you about how they are feeling jealous it may be time for you to back off. No matter how deep of a connection you might have developed with a member of their family or friends, ultimately that connection should not be worth your relationship with your spouse. Distancing yourself does not mean that you cannot say hello, or that you have to be rude and pretend the person does not exist. Instead, distancing yourself might mean when his/her friends come over that you go over to your friend’s house to pass the time.
Don’t Dismiss It
Never, ever should you dismiss your spouse’s feelings about jealousy when communicating. If they come to you and state that they are feeling jealous, even if you do not feel that you have done any harm, you should always discuss how things can be made better. Dismissing their feelings is by far the worst thing you could do, as it can lead to problems not only in your relationship but in the relationship they have with their friend or family member.
Jealousy is one of those feelings that’s very complicated, yet natural. We can be jealous of the way someone’s body looks or jealous of someone else’s relationship and at times we become jealous and don’t know why. Getting past jealousy means taking the proper steps in your relationship to reassure your loved one that you’re on their team and no one else’s.
If you are struggling with a spouse or partner's jealousy issues and you're not sure how to handle the situation, we can help. Please get in touch with Relationship Center of Orange County and speak to one of our professional, caring counselors. Call us today at 949-220-3211, or schedule your appointment via our online calendar. We look forward to serving you.